Can a dysfunctional Congress and a beleaguered White House finally agree on tax and housing finance reform? (Hint: Probably not this year...)
The U.S. Senate recently rubber-stamped a flood insurance bill the U.S. House of Representatives passed overwhelmingly in March. The bill caps annual premiums under the National Flood Insurance Program—which had been rising by 40 percent or more in some markets—at 18 percent per individual policy. This legislation, for which builder and Realtor groups lobbied hard, proves that under the right circumstances and pressure, Congress will work together to make things happen. “Congress acts when constituencies’ pocketbooks are burning red,” says Joe Ventrone, vice president of regulatory affairs and real estate services for the National Association of Realtors.